General Areas of Research

Short MSU video on Zambian Carnivore Programme research


Behavioral ecology, population biology, conservation, behavioral endocrinology, evolutionary ecology. My  research is based on field studies, generally using observational methods, and often following known individuals. Much of the work in my lab has involved the integration of behavioral and demographic data from the field with physiological and genetic data from the lab.

Much of mbernhardy recent research has focused on the ways that predators affect prey other than by simply killing them -- identifying responses to predation risk and measuring their  costs (physiological, energetic and demographic). This work won the Carl Gustav Bernhard Medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.  Recently my focus has shifted to integrating data from high throughput sequencing into analysis of the ways that humans affect connectivity between ecosystems.


My current field research is with the Zambian Carnivore Programme, examining carnivore conservation, ecology, behavior and genetics in three ecosystems (Liuwa, South Luangwa and Kafue National Parks).   In this work, we are studying African wild dogs, lions, spotted hyenas, cheetahs and leopards and all of the large herbivores that form their prey base. This work provides basic data for conservation and management on population size, survival, reproduction, distributions, movements and the factors that affect them.


busanga cheetah